> From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mary Matejka)
> I recently bought a Hitachi 103B bread machine. It is one of those
> whose directions call for ice water. I followed directions and
> got hocky pucks.
My old Panasonic said to cool down everything, but I would get
inconsistent results (h.p.'s). I gave up and just used everything
at whatever temperature and I'm in Malaysia where it's 90 F every
day. It didn't seem to affect the results, in that once in a while
I get a compact loaf, but usually the loaves are at least to the
top of the pan, and often way over.
I find that the difference is in the (1) yeast quality, (2) yeast
quantity, (3) right amount of water, and (4) dough conditioner
additive. I get the most inconsistent loaves when I change yeast
brands or it comes from a different batch. I was lucky and purchased
some very effective powdered yeast in bulk and it always gives good
loaves. I've stored it in airtight jars at room temperature for 9
months and it is still OK. I use 1/2 - 1/4 more than the recommended
amount. Yes, slightly more water seems to be better than not enough,
but you really have to be careful because it's easy to add too much.
Do it spoon by spoon if you're not sure, and watch the dough to
make sure it doesn't get runny. The bakery goods shops here sell
an unbranded "dough conditioner" that helps the elasticity and
refines the bread. It's a white powder that looks like cornstarch.
I use an amount equal to the recommended amount of yeast. The amazing
thing is that with common plain white flour I get pretty good bread.
However, because the conditioner makes the holes very tiny, some
people who are used to naturally tougher bread might not like the
Hope this helps, Gene Chan, Malaysia